I sat in on a semester of staff meetings with the excellent staff of Restore Community Church ( in the Spring of 2010. The staff was energetic, genuine, and full of personality. They valued connection, stimulating each others intellect and passion for ministry, and making work fun whenever possible. Each time I was there, the group put themselves through the process of “parking” distractions and a connection exercise before diving into the more stereotypical meeting type work.

I liked it so much, I’ll explain it here and hope it’s useful.

The Parking Lot: The Parking Lot was a rectangular area delineated on the white board and aptly entitled, “Parking Lot”. People would go around the room and share what they needed to “park” that day. The idea was everyone would be bringing in something from their life outside the gathering. To be most present in the moment, to give oneself most fully to the people and ideas in the room, it was necessary to intentionally set aside the most pressing outside pressure. People would park childcare issues, regrets, worries, excitement for something in the future, an obsession with details over something, and a myriad of other things. I was sitting there as an assignment for my seminary senior capstone class so I mostly parked, “school!”

I think parking some things in order to more fully focus on something else is a process I’d like to submit to in marital discourse with Drew, financial conversations of any kind, and my monthly meetings with YL staff.


My favorite, in Restore’s repertoire of fun ways to connect and share with each other, was the week they shared “Recommendations”. Everyone simply shared something they would recommend to the group. Recommendations were helpful in sharing good ideas and were also insightful to what each person was into at that time.

No one asked, but right now I recommend:

-CrossFit (see

-Kale (especially in smoothies). Benefits of Kale include: high amounts of fiber and calcium, and decent amounts of vitamins A, C, B6, and potassium. Kale fights for health against: heart disease, certain cancers, dementia, osteoporosis, and cataracts. Enough said!

-Chocolate chips by the handful as a dessert. (Just balancing out the Kale tirade above)

-Going outside everyday

-Working next to a window

-Trying new recipes

-Giving your kids a blessing when you leave them at school, a friend’s house, when they go to bed…

-Reading books yourself and to kids

-Letting your “Yes be Yes” and your “No be No”- it’s important to honor your word.

-Reading The Hunger Games trilogy

-Taking a whole day off from a computer


-Grapefruit- tis the season which is close to ending


Obviously there’s more but those are my recommendations for today. What are yours?




No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.